The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that originate in C5, C6, C7, C8 and T1 sections of the spinal cord and extend outwards into the chest, shoulder and down into the arms and hands. Brachial plexus injuries are usually traumatic in nature (although not always); usually a result of either birth injuries, e.g. Erb’s Palsy – where the shoulder /neck is violently / sometimes negligently hyperextended or subject to excessive forces to accommodate a difficult birth. In adults any kind of lateral shoulder/neck/head trauma, especially after motorcycle accidents, where the brachial plexus nerves are overstretched, lacerated or even severed completely. An injury or disease may cause scar-tissue formation or inflammation to the brachial plexus area that places pressure on those nerves, causing the same symptoms.
A motorcycle injury lawyer sees this more frequently in motorcycle injury claims, as the victim is subject to the forces of several lateral impacts to the head/neck/shoulder area after being thrown from the bike. But this can also happen when a doctor inappropriately reduces a dislocated shoulder and in lateral sports injuries.
Symptoms that indicate a brachial plexus injury include a reduced muscle control, numbness, burning or paralysis in the hand or arm. These symptoms may also indicate a stroke – so if any are present, seek emergency care immediately.
This can be confirmed by MRI or Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) testing – and subsequently treated with physical therapy, immobilizing the area, anti-inflammatories and, in some cases surgical nerve repair or nerve transplantation. Prognoses for recovery vary depending on the severity of the injury and time between injury and appropriate treatment.
If you would like to speak to a motorcycle injury lawyer about a potential motorcycle injury claim, please call 305-931-6666 (Miami-Dade) or 954-523-8292 (Broward) or fill in the contact information form below and we will contact you ASAP.